Hopefully that emphasises that I am not just ‘appealing to culture’ or ‘trying to be popular’ as many conservative Christians are concluding.I’m saddened that many conservative and evangelical Christians have been so quick to write me off, emailing that “this means goodbye – deleting you from my social networks”. So even if you strongly disagree with my stand on this topic, please journey with me and hear why and how I’ve come to these conclusions.But the experience of living and working in the Bible-belt world was a fascinating and formative one, regularly playing my songs to audiences of 15-20 thousand people at live events and contributing to many faith-based TV and radio shows. Moving to the States with just a suitcase and a guitar, I’m grateful that today my songs are among the most popular in mega-churches across North America, have charted in Billboard Magazine and featured in the Top 25 ‘most sung per week’ in the USA (measured by a reporting system called CCLI).So I want to take this chance to say “THANK YOU” from the bottom of my heart, to all in the States who support me and my work. I say all of that to give context to why I have been so afraid to stand up for equal marriage; I knew not only my conservative friends and relatives in the UK would be unhappy, but also the large base of people in the States who have followed my work for the past decade. So speaking up about this has not been without great thought and personal cost.My comments were very brief, but I said I believed that Christians didn’t have to choose between respecting the Bible and/or supporting equal marriage.I spoke about it again during a Sky News paper review last month, answering a direct question about whether Bible-believing Christians could endorse gay relationships.
Last week I was interviewed on LBC Radio and spoke in favour of equal marriage, related to Archbishop Welby’s LBC phone-in.
I also wrote for various Christian magazines, and was on many TV and radio stations.
If you’re not familiar with USA Christian media, just one of their many radio stations reaches 12 million listeners a week and their religious TV channels reach a vast audience of 80% of homes.
Many of you from a non-religious background will think “Great, so what? Many ‘liberal’ Christians will also think “Great, so what?
” But for me, since sharing my views, (pardon the pun) all hell has broken loose. I’m now daily called a “heretic”, a “false prophet”, a “massive disappointment to the evangelical church” and many other names too inappropriate to print.